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Black History Month

Black History Month

Black History Month 1024 684 LA County Library

Black History Month

Join Us for Events All Month Long!

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize, celebrate, and honor the rich and diverse history and important contributions and achievements of African Americans. We’re celebrating all month with over 80 free events and programs for all ages in our libraries, including author events, film screenings, storytelling, spoken word performances, performing arts, and art activities. Check out the event listing to the right of this page to find an event near you!

The holiday is particularly relevant to A C Bilbrew Library; it houses our African American Resource Center, which was established in 1978 to serve the informational and educational needs of African Americans and the larger population by supporting research and study on social, historical and cultural aspects unique to the African American experience.

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History of Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance in February, celebrating the past and present achievements of African Americans.

In 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson—historian, teacher, and author—founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).  In February 1926, Woodson proposed the establishment of Negro History Week to honor the history of African Americans, and their contributions to American life. Dr. Woodson, known as the Father of Black History, chose the second week of February because it commemorates the birthdays of 2 men who greatly affected the African American community: Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). Negro History Week became Black History Week in the early 1970s. In 1976, the week-long observance was expanded to a month in honor of the nation’s bicentennial.

Black History Month continues to be sponsored by ASALH, its founding organization, who also designates its annual theme. The 2019 theme is Black Migrations, which emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.

Black History Month Events

february

fri01feb4:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month Film Series: February One4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Compton LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

sat02feb1:00 pm2:30 pmBeginning African American Genealogy1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Lancaster LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month

sat02feb2:00 pm2:45 pmMusic, Stories and Immeasurably More!2:00 pm - 2:45 pm Claremont LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,FamilyCategories:~Bilingual,African American Resource Center,Black History Month,History,Music & Dance,My Brother,Parenting,Storytelling,Storytime

sat02feb2:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedWhen Divas Were Divas: Remembering their lives their way2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Willowbrook LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance,Theater

sat02feb2:00 pm3:00 pmTalking Drums2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Stevenson Ranch LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

sat02feb2:00 pm4:00 pmBlack Migrations2:00 pm - 4:00 pm A C Bilbrew LibraryAudience:Adults,TeensCategories:African American Resource Center,Black History Month,Film,History,Resource Center

sat02feb3:00 pm4:00 pmAfrican Dance Rhythms with Teresa Smith3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Hacienda Heights LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

mon04feb3:00 pm4:00 pmBook Club: "Their Eyes Were Watching God"3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Montebello LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

mon04feb5:00 pm6:30 pmBlack History Month: Abstract Painting for Adults5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Chet Holifield LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue05feb3:30 pm4:30 pmAfrican Tales3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Lomita LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

tue05feb4:00 pm5:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Leland R. Weaver LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue05feb5:00 pm6:00 pmArt for Adults: Kente Designs and Coloring5:00 pm - 6:00 pm View Park Bebe Moore Campbell LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue05feb6:00 pm7:30 pmTuskegee Airmen6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Topanga LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film,History

wed06feb3:00 pm3:45 pmAfrican Drum Circle with CHAZZ Ross3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Sorensen LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

wed06feb3:30 pm4:15 pmTalking Drums with The Sunshine Storyteller3:30 pm - 4:15 pm Lawndale LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

wed06feb3:30 pm4:30 pmGroovin' With Brother Yusef3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Manhattan Beach LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,History,Storytelling

wed06feb4:00 pm4:45 pmSoulful4:00 pm - 4:45 pm Masao W. Satow LibraryAudience:FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

wed06feb5:30 pm6:30 pmAbstract Expression Painting for Black History Month5:30 pm - 6:30 pm George Nye Jr. LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month,Workshop

wed06feb6:00 pm7:00 pmBlack History Month Art Activity6:00 pm - 7:00 pm La Verne LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month,S.T.E.M.

wed06feb7:00 pm8:00 pmAfrican and African American Tales with Michael McCarty7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Rowland Heights LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

thu07feb4:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month: Abstract Expression4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Lynwood LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

thu07feb5:00 pm6:00 pmAfrican Drums5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Sunkist LibraryAudience:Children,Family,TeensCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

fri08feb2:30 pm4:00 pmJean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child Film Screening2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Clifton M. Brakensiek LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

fri08feb4:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month Film Series: Flyers in Search of a Dream4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Compton LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

sat09feb2:00 pm3:30 pmWriters' Workshop Dramatizations2:00 pm - 3:30 pm A C Bilbrew LibraryAudience:Adults,TeensCategories:African American Resource Center,Black History Month,History,Resource Center,Theater

sat09feb2:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedBlack History Month Live Concert2:00 pm - 3:00 pm West Covina LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Black History Month

sat09feb2:00 pm3:00 pmBlack History with Michael D. McCarty2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Artesia LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,History,Storytelling

sat09feb2:00 pm3:00 pmOut of the Dust2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Claremont LibraryAudience:Adults,TeensCategories:Black History Month,History

sat09feb2:00 pm3:00 pmAdult Art Activity: Black History Month2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Agoura Hills LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat09feb2:00 pm2:45 pmAfrican Percussion with Chazz Ross2:00 pm - 2:45 pm El Monte LibraryAudience:Adults,Babies & Toddlers,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

mon11feb5:00 pm6:00 pmSunshine Drum Circle Stories5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Angelo M. Iacoboni LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

mon11feb5:00 pm6:00 pmThe Life and Art Of Alma Woodsey Thomas5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Graham LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

mon11feb6:00 pm7:00 pmDjembe Drum Workshop6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Acton Agua Dulce LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month

mon11feb6:00 pm7:30 pmCreate an abstract expressionist painting for Black History Month!6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Sorensen LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

mon11feb6:00 pm8:00 pmMonday Movie Night for Adults: Selma PG-136:00 pm - 8:00 pm Rowland Heights LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

tue12feb3:30 pm4:30 pmWe Shall Overcome3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Lomita LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance,Storytelling

tue12feb4:30 pm5:30 pmDrum Circle with Chazz4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Littlerock LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month

tue12feb6:00 pm7:00 pmAbstract Expression Painting 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm South Whittier LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue12feb6:00 pm7:00 pmBook Club: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

tue12feb6:15 pm7:15 pmCelebrating the Blues6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Charter Oak LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

wed13feb3:00 pm4:00 pmBlack History Month Potato Chip Challenge3:00 pm - 4:00 pm San Dimas LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month

wed13feb3:30 pm4:15 pmBlack History Month Celebration3:30 pm - 4:15 pm West Hollywood LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

wed13feb5:00 pm6:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!5:00 pm - 6:00 pm South El Monte LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month,History

wed13feb6:00 pm7:00 pmAbstract Expressionaist Painting / Pintura expresionista abstracta6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Hawaiian Gardens LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

wed13feb6:30 pm7:30 pmAfrican and African-American Tales6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Live Oak LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

thu14feb5:30 pm6:30 pmCreate an Abstract Expression Painting5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Cudahy LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

thu14feb7:00 pm7:50 pmBook Club7:00 pm - 7:50 pm Wiseburn LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club,Science & Mathematics

fri15feb2:30 pm4:00 pmAfrican Tribal Masks2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Quartz Hill LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

fri15feb3:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month Expression Painting3:00 pm - 5:00 pm La Cañada Flintridge LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month

fri15feb4:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month Film Series: Underground Railroad: The William Still Story4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Compton LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

sat16feb11:00 am12:00 pmCreate an Abstract Expression Painting for Black History Month11:00 am - 12:00 pm Artesia LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat16feb1:00 pm2:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Anthony Quinn LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat16feb1:00 pm4:00 pmFeaturedWilliam Pajaud Film and Art Tour1:00 pm - 4:00 pm A C Bilbrew LibraryAudience:Adults,TeensCategories:African American Resource Center,Black History Month,Film,History,Resource Center

sat16feb2:00 pm3:30 pmFeaturedBeginning African American Genealogy2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Willowbrook LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Workshop

sat16feb2:00 pm3:00 pmTalking Drums with Ina Buckner-Barnette2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Hawthorne LibraryAudience:FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

sat16feb2:00 pm3:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Duarte LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat16feb2:00 pm3:00 pmJungle Drum Circle2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Diamond Bar LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

sat16feb2:00 pm2:45 pmMakinto - "We Shall Overcome"2:00 pm - 2:45 pm Westlake Village LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance,Storytelling

sat16feb2:00 pm3:00 pmBlack History Month Family Art Activity2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Temple City LibraryAudience:Adults,Babies & Toddlers,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat16feb2:30 pm4:00 pmAbstract Expression Painting2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Carson LibraryAudience:FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat16feb5:00 pm6:00 pmHope of the West Family Activity Night: Storyteller Ina Buckner-Barnette5:00 pm - 6:00 pm View Park Bebe Moore Campbell LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Black History Month,History,Storytelling

sat16feb6:00 pm7:30 pmHope of the West Family Activity Night: Paint Night for Adults6:00 pm - 7:30 pm View Park Bebe Moore Campbell LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb12:00 pm1:00 pmBlack History Month Art Activity / Actividad de arte del Mes de la Historia Afroestadounidense12:00 pm - 1:00 pm El Camino Real LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb2:30 pm3:30 pmI Have a Dream Mobile2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Acton Agua Dulce LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb3:30 pm4:30 pmTeen Tuesday: Black History Month Celebration3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Sunkist LibraryAudience:TeensCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb4:00 pm5:00 pmAfrican and African American Tales with Michael McCarty4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Woodcrest LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

tue19feb4:30 pm5:30 pmBlack History Month Activity for Kids4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Pico Rivera LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb4:30 pm5:30 pmBlack History Month Trivia4:30 pm - 5:30 pm A C Bilbrew LibraryAudience:TeensCategories:Black History Month,Games,History

tue19feb5:00 pm6:00 pmCreate an Abstract Expression Painting for Black History Month!5:00 pm - 6:00 pm East Rancho Dominguez LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb5:00 pm6:30 pmBlack History Month Documentary Series: TED Talks on the African Experience5:00 pm - 6:30 pm View Park Bebe Moore Campbell LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

tue19feb5:00 pm6:00 pmDrumming with Chazz Ross5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Huntington Park LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month

tue19feb5:00 pm6:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Westlake Village LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb5:00 pm6:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Anthony Quinn LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue19feb6:00 pm7:00 pmBook Club6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Littlerock LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

wed20feb2:00 pm3:00 pmDocumentary: Tuskegee Airmen2:00 pm - 3:00 pm West Hollywood LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film,History

wed20feb3:00 pm4:30 pm"I Have a Dream" Art Activity3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Gardena Mayme Dear LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

wed20feb4:00 pm5:00 pmCreate an Abstract Expression Art Piece for Black History Month!4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Castaic LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

wed20feb6:30 pm7:30 pmStorytelling with Michael McCarty6:30 pm - 7:30 pm La Verne LibraryAudience:Adults,Babies & Toddlers,Children,Family,TeensCategories:Black History Month,Storytelling

wed20feb6:30 pm7:30 pm20/30-Somethings Book Club: The Wedding Date6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Agoura Hills LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

thu21feb10:30 am12:30 pmBlack History Month: Art for Adults10:30 am - 12:30 pm Huntington Park LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

thu21feb2:00 pm4:00 pmThe African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Carson LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film,History

thu21feb2:30 pm3:30 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Norwalk LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:~Bilingual,~en Español,Art Activity,Black History Month

thu21feb6:00 pm7:00 pmBook Club6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Norwood LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

fri22feb2:00 pm4:00 pmThe African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Carson LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film,History

fri22feb3:00 pm4:00 pmBlack History Month Art Activity3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Clifton M. Brakensiek LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

fri22feb4:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month Film Series: Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley & the Politics of Race4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Compton LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

sat23feb9:00 am5:00 pmBook Club for Teens9:00 am - 5:00 pm San Fernando LibraryAudience:TeensCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

sat23feb10:00 am10:50 amAfrican Dance Rhythms with Teresa Smith10:00 am - 10:50 am Wiseburn LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

sat23feb1:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedPanomundo Part 2: Pan Worldwide1:00 pm - 3:00 pm A C Bilbrew LibraryAudience:Adults,Children,Family,TeensCategories:African American Resource Center,Black History Month,Film,History,Resource Center

sat23feb2:00 pm3:00 pmBlack History Month Story Hour2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Walnut LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month,Books! Books! Books!

sat23feb2:00 pm3:00 pmBlack History Month Art Activity2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Rowland Heights LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat23feb2:00 pm3:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Bell Gardens LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat23feb2:00 pm3:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!2:00 pm - 3:00 pm West Hollywood LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

sat23feb2:00 pm3:00 pmFlyers in Search of a Dream Documentary Screening2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Hacienda Heights LibraryAudience:Adults,TeensCategories:Black History Month,Film

sat23feb2:00 pm3:00 pmAfternoon Art: Take Inspiration From Artist Alma Woodsey Thomas2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month,History

sat23feb2:00 pm4:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Culver City Julian Dixon LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month

sat23feb2:00 pm4:00 pmThe African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Carson LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film,History

sun24feb2:00 pm4:00 pmFeaturedBlack History Month Film Screening2:00 pm - 4:00 pm East Los Angeles LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

mon25feb4:00 pm5:00 pmBlack History Month Art Activity for Teens4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Willowbrook LibraryAudience:TeensCategories:Black History Month

mon25feb5:00 pm6:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Los Nietos LibraryAudience:Adults,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

mon25feb5:00 pm7:00 pmDVD Documentary: Freedom Riders5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Acton Agua Dulce LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

mon25feb5:00 pm7:30 pmMovie Screening: A Raisin in the Sun5:00 pm - 7:30 pm Agoura Hills LibraryAudience:Adults,TeensCategories:Black History Month,Film

tue26feb4:00 pm4:45 pmAfrican Dance Rhythms4:00 pm - 4:45 pm Castaic LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Black History Month

tue26feb4:00 pm5:00 pmMr. Markus Music4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Norwalk LibraryAudience:ChildrenCategories:Black History Month,Music & Dance

tue26feb5:00 pm7:30 pmFeaturedEthiopian Business Ventures5:00 pm - 7:30 pm A C Bilbrew LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:African American Resource Center,Black History Month,Resource Center

tue26feb6:30 pm7:30 pmCreate an Abstract Painting for Black History Month6:30 pm - 7:30 pm San Dimas LibraryAudience:FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

tue26feb6:30 pm7:45 pmBook Club: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward6:30 pm - 7:45 pm La Crescenta LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

wed27feb6:00 pm7:00 pmCreate an abstract expression painting for Black History Month!6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Angelo M. Iacoboni LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

wed27feb6:00 pm7:00 pmAdult Book Club6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Masao W. Satow LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Book Club

thu28feb11:00 am12:00 pmAll Abilties Art11:00 am - 12:00 pm Montebello LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

thu28feb3:30 pm4:30 pmArtistic Celebration of Black History Month3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Manhattan Beach LibraryAudience:Children,FamilyCategories:Art Activity,Black History Month

thu28feb5:30 pm7:00 pmBlack History Month Film: "Tuskegee Airmen"5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film,History

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tue05mar5:00 pm6:00 pmBlack History Month Documentary Series: StoryCorps Shorts5:00 pm - 6:00 pm View Park Bebe Moore Campbell LibraryAudience:AdultsCategories:Black History Month,Film

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Additional Information

Located in A C Bilbrew Library, the African American Resource Center was established as a special service of the LA County Library in 1978 to serve the informational and educational needs of African Americans and the larger population by supporting research and study on social, historical and cultural aspects unique to the African American experience.

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I Have A Dream Speech

One of most indelible speeches of the Civil Rights Movement is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s eloquent speech I Have a Dream from the August 28, 1963, rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Dr. King and other Black ministers formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957 to expand the struggle against racism and discrimination. By early 1963, Dr. King and the SCLC launched non-violent demonstrations to protest racial discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama, then one of the most segregated cities in the United States. In reaction to the violent police actions, President John F. Kennedy proposed a wide-ranging civil rights legislation to Congress.

Dr. King along with other civil rights leaders then organized a massive march on Washington, DC, to urge Congress to pass Kennedy’s bill. On August 28, 1963, nearly a quarter of a million people gathered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to hear King and others. The highlight of the rally was Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech which has since defined the civil rights movement, not only for African Americans but for all people.

The civil rights movement won a significant victory in 1964 when Congress passed The Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination in public places and promoting equal opportunities in education and employment. Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered today for his vision and his legacy.

For More Information

I Have a Dream Speech
Provides the text and audio of the speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

The King Center
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work, the King Center offers a wide range of information ­biographical information on Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, the King Holiday and other historical information.

The Seattle Times: Martin Luther King
Contains stories and photos from the Seattle Times as wells as time lines for Martin Luther King and for the Civil Rights movement. Click on His Words to hear excerpts from King’s most famous speeches, including two excerpts from I Have a Dream and one from the speech Dr. King gave the day before he was assassinated in 1968.

The King Papers Project (Stanford University)
The project is a major research effort to assemble and disseminate information about Martin Luther King and the social movements he worked for. The Frequently Requested Documents include the I Have a Dream speech which can be viewed in multiple languages by clicking on the flag icons. The site also includes biographical information, King’s sermons and other material.

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Lift Every Voice and Sing Anthem

Often referred to as the Negro National Anthem, this song was written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson in 1900 for the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It was originally performed by children at its premiere in Jacksonville, Florida. James W. Johnson was a notable poet who later went on to become one of the founders of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Rosamond Johnson was a successful composer of music for Broadway.

 

Lift evry voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

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